The Press Newspaper

Toledo, Ohio & Lake Erie

The Press Newspaper

The Press Newspaper

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Mortgage foreclosures have dipped and auto sales have climbed for the first quarter of this year, compared to the same period last year, according to a recent audit by the Lucas County Clerk of the Court of Common Pleas.

The audit showed that mortgage foreclosure case filings in Lucas County dropped by 227 in the first quarter of this year compared to the first quarter of 2009.

Through the first quarter of 2009, there were 1,680 mortgage foreclosure actions filed with the Lucas County Clerk of Courts compared to 1,435 cases filed through the first quarter of this year.

During January, February and March, foreclosure case filings dropped in January, February and March, with March showing the biggest decline in comparison to the same time of 2009.

“This is a significant drop,” said Larry Loutzenhiser, public information officer for J. Bernie Quilter, the Lucas County Clerk of Common Pleas.

“Ohio and Michigan are always slow compared to the rest of the country to recover economically,” he said. “But those numbers indicate we’re moving in the right direction. We hope it will continue.”

He attributed the drop in foreclosure filings to a combination of factors, including an increase in workers getting called back to work, and more social service agencies getting involved in helping homeowners in danger of losing their homes.

“There’s an extensive foreclosure intervention/prevention network,” he said. “People are getting more help to get out of the foreclosure process.”

Quilter was encouraged by the numbers, saying it may also show that the economy may be pulling itself out of the deep recession that gripped the nation in 2008.

“This is good news for the citizens of Lucas County,” said Quilter. “This may be a sign that the economy is beginning to show signs of improvement.” His office will continue to review filings in hopes the trend will continue.

Another sign that the economy may be improving is the increase in auto sales in Lucas County, according to Quilter.

The Automobile and Watercraft Title Division shows that new auto sales are up this quarter in comparison to last year.

Total sales this quarter increased by 654 compared to 2009. Of those sales, 215 were new auto purchases. Used casual sales of autos have also ticked up.

“Increased sales of large ticket items such as automobiles is a strong indication that the economy is moving forward and this is good news for the citizens of Lucas County,” said Quilter.

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